I'm looking for input from anyone who may have experienced what I'm going through right now with my son. He's 18 mos. old and is 22 lbs. He hasn't really gained weight for the last 5 months and our pediatrician is concerned. He has food allergies (milk, eggs, nuts). I'm still nursing him and he doesn't appear to be ready to wean yet, which I am fine with. He's taking Cytra-3 because he had low co2 levels and they are back to normal now. We saw a nutritionist who said he's fine...no need to worry. The next day we had a GI consult and they said it's failure to thrive. They tested his stool and said that there's no evidence of malnourishment, but they want me to stop breastfeeding immediately and start feeding him higher fat foods. I'm worried sick and am having a hard time with 2 completely different diagnosis. I can do the fatty foods, but he went on a liquid strike when I tried to stop nursing and I'm guessing that breastmilk is better than dehydration. He will drink water from a sippy cup, but he's not impressed with soy milk. Any thoughts? Advice??

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I don't see why they want you to quit breastfeeding. That's the BEST thing you can be doing for him right now. Obviously he needs to be eating normal meals by this time, but breastfeeding on the side, I would think, would be very beneficial to him!
My son is 15 months and allergic to milk. He has really bad eczema as a result if he consumes milk products. I was urged by my pediatrician to stop breastfeeding at 4 months. They recommended that I formula feed my baby, which is milk based, and would have made it so much worse. I was appalled that they would ever recommend that to someone and took him to a chinese medicine naturopath. She told me NOT to stop breastfeeding, just to totally modify my diet. Thank God for her to find the root of the problem instead of just telling me to stop breastfeeding and not even knowing the problem. Pediatricians drive me crazy. They also wanted me to put steroids on my 4 month olds face. They are insane. I took out all dairy, and it never really got rid of the exzema, but now he has built up antibodies and has a higher tolerance to dairy and has been eczema free for months! I stopped breastfeeding at 9 months because I am pregnant again and he just quit. :)
Try rice milk instead of soy milk. Soy has high levels of estrogen and soy milk is thicker and gross in my opinion. Rice milk is such a basic protein and super easy for them to digest. You can also buy it fortified with vitamins ect. That's what my son has in place of milk.
I am not a doctor, but I would NOT stop breastfeeding. That is the best and most completely perfect suppliment to table food you can give your baby.
Good luck. I will be interested to find out what happens with this.
I don't know why they'd tell you to stop nursing immediately! That sounds a little quirky to me. Personally, I'd go with my gut and what feels right. Some kids just stop gaining weight for a little while, but IMO (and I'm not an expert, just a mother) as long as they aren't losing weight and seem to be happy and healthy, I wouldn't worry too much. Just make sure he's drinking enough, and Breastmilk is the best for that, with all the super nutrients it provides!
I'm curious what they recommended you have him drink instead of breastmilk? That's about the highest fat liquid that you're going to come across! Much more so than soy or rice milk! In my meager opinion, go with the higher fat foods and stick with breastfeeding! As long as he wants it and it's not replacing meals how can it be bad? Good luck to you guys and I hope you can find a solution that works well for your family!
Thanks everyone! I will try rice milk and see what he thinks of that. They recommended Bright Beginnings Pediatric Soy formula....that is actually a drink similar to Pediasure and not formula. You can only buy it on the internet or at random stores that I've never heard of. I ordered a case just to see what it's all about, but in the mean time I am still going to nurse. Noah is a good but not big eater...he's so busy running around that he's not a huge snacker, etc. Our daughter will snack all day long if she could, but Noah is a mover. He gets a good balance of food but I'm going to modify things for him. Ex: he likes Baked Lays, I'll give him regular Lays. He loves popcorn..I'll get him the super buttery high calorie version. I'm also going to try soy ice-cream and see if he'll eat that. I'm putting butter on his waffles, adding extra olive oil to his pasta, etc. He's an otherwise healthy boy who is developing beautifully...full of energy and smiles. They were testing him for Celiac disease and thyroid problems so I'll keep you posted on the results.
Instead of junk food give him some healthy brain buliding fats like avocado and walnuts. Olive oil and coconut oil are great also. Kids will only get sicker and have a higher chance of diseases if given processed food. All the food that grows us meant to make us grow. If it's altered from it's natural state too much it can only cause harm and not good.
I agree Cindy. Despite the examples I listed of chips and popcorn we actually try to maintain a healthy diet in our home. Lean meats, whole grains, all natural and/or organic products, fresh fruits and veggies. My husband refuses to buy cereal with 10g or sugar or more. With Noah's allergies to milk and nuts it creates a bit of a challenge, but I know olive, flaxseed and coconut oils are great to add to foods. We do love our popcorn though, so even though we limit the amount of junk our kids eat, we still have a few favorites that are here to stay. Thanks for your suggestions!
i have a 21 month old daughter and she has been the same weight(25 lbs and 31 inches) for months and the doctors say nothing about it i ask them everytime if she is underweight because i know other infants a few months younger than her and they are all bigger than she is but the docs say she is fine and the only time to worry is when she stops eating all together my daughter is a mover also unless she is tired but i have found that if i leave her snacks around the area that she plays then she will pick them up when she wants to eat them i can get her to eat breakfast lunch and sometimes dinner and she always has 2% milk in the morning and dinner the rest of the day she is happy with 20%-80%juice/water mix the most being water so until your son starts to lose the weight i really wouldnt worry and continue to breastfeed but also give him meals as you are doing he will gain weight eventually and being the fact that he is a mover he is burning off the food that he does eat
Your son sounds very much like my youngest daughter. Like your son, she's gained very little weight in the last 6 months or so. At her 18 mo. appointment with the pediatrician she weighed in at 22 lb. 7 oz. (she was 20 lbs 4oz at 12 mos.) putting her in the 25% for weight, but her height had jumped up quite a bit. The pediatrician asked if I was concerned about her low weight. I had been a little concerned because her 3 yr old sister was quite a bit bigger at this age. The pediatrician said that as long as she's active and eating well that I shouldn't be concerned. She felt her jump in height probably accounted for the low weight gain. My daughter as also been very affected by all of her teeth coming in so that disrupts her eating a bit. My daughter is lean but muscular and looked just fine to the pediatrician. I stopped nursing her at about 10 1/2 mos. when she lost interest and I couldn't stop her biting. She's been drinking soymilk ever since and eats about as good as you can expect a 19 mo. old to eat.

Like everyone else, I don't get why they would tell you to stop breastfeeding him and if there is no evidence of malnourishment then what's the problem? I wouldn't be so worried. You've taken him to specialists who haven't found anything medically wrong with him except that he's smaller than the "average" kids his age. "Failure to thrive" seems like one of those bogus diagnoses that they use when nothing's really wrong, but the doctor feels he/she needs to find something wrong (kind of like "failure to progress" when a woman's in labor and things aren't moving according to to doctor's "average" time table). I guess this is where you do a mommy gut check...you know your child best. Does he seem to be active and healthy to you? Seems like a doctor has planted a seed of worry with you even though there's no medical evidence to back it up.
Thanks Kimberly,

I appreciate everyone's comments and support. Our daughter is 3 1/2 and never had weight issues, is very tall for her age, and a huge eater. It's hard not to compare Noah to her, but I'm finding that all kids are different. Noah is also lean but muscular and has great skin tone, etc. It's so hard when a doctor plants the seed of doubt with a diagnosis of "failure to thrive". In my heart of hearts I really don't feel that anything is wrong with him. It's been quite the process to work through, but this forum has been so helpful! Thank you!
oh I love your comparison between failture to thrive and failure to progress!
I have a similar story with my 2 kids. My 3 year old was a good birth weight and has always maintained a 50th percentile or better at each check-up for height and weight. However, my 17 month old was "failing to thrive" toward the end of my pregnancy with her and my OB wanted to induce me early, like having a preemie would fix things. I waited it out with her and she was born on her own time at just under 6 lbs. She has not been on the charts at all since. She eats very well, although I weaned at 13 months because I found out I was pregnant again and just couldn't maintain an adequate supply for her. I switched her to a blend of goat milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk. I thought the rice and soy milks weren't heavy enough for her. I also have given her a lot of avocados, natural peanut butter (no allergies), and real butter on her veggies. It seems that it would make more sense to try to nurse more, boost your supply, or pump if you ever can and give it in a cup to get more nutrients to him, not stop nursing altogether. I think you are right to question the conflicting opinions. You are the mother and obviously you know your child better than anyone, even an "expert". I think if you see him as growing/developing just fine, than you are doing the right thing. Good luck to you and your family.
Wanted to give an update on Noah. I did not stop breastfeeding and plan on continuing to breastfeed until we're both ready to stop. My father-in-law bought some plain soy milk that I mixed with a little water and so far Noah is drinking it. I'm adding flax seed oil to his oatmeal, real butter on his waffles and he loves eating bananas and veggie burgers for snacks. At our last weekly weigh-in he gained 5oz. We have another appointment with the GI doctor in November where they will decide if they want to do a scope on him. He tested negative for Celiac disease and Thyroid problems. I'm hopeful that this is all going to work out fine. I appreciate everyone who has commented and shared their story. I can't tell you how comforting that has been during a stressful time! Thank you again!

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